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A Polish supermarket’s iconic hot dogs are now served by robot

Polish grocer Żabka has taken automation of its Nano stores to a new level with the unveiling of Robbie, a robot that prepares its iconic hot dogs.

A robot called Robbie is now serving hot dogs at a branch of Polish retailer Żabka’s automated Nano stores, preparing orders in three steps in accordance with the customer’s request.

The device, created in cooperation between Żabka and VeloxAlpha, can be seen in action at Żabka’s Nano store at 54 Dobra Street in the Polish capital Warsaw, where it has already become something of an attraction.

“The hot- dog is an iconic Żabka snack, and we wanted to make them available in our unmanned facilities,” says Paweł Grabowski, head of unmanned solutions at Żabka Future.

“In cooperation with the team at VeloxAlpha we created the Robbie robot, which automatically and fully hygienically prepares hot dogs for customers with their favourite toppings. It is the first of its kind on the market, and we’re excited that Żabka Nano is leading the way.”

Customers enter the Nano stores using the Żappka app, a smartwatch, bank card or Apple Pay or Google Pay app, and then place their orders in three steps, choosing the size of the hot dog, the kind of sausage and sauce, and then confirm the order.

Hot dogs are ready to be collected within 40 seconds.

AI-powered technology

“The main stimulus for the creation of the robot was time. Our products should make life easier, be user-friendly, and be available 24/7 for everyone. Technology plays a key role in guaranteeing quality, increasing food preparation safety, and ensuring constant availability,” adds Łukasz Drewnowski, CEO and co-founder at VeloxAlpha.

Żabka’s Nano stores – the first of which opened in Poznań in June 2021 – operate in several formats from standalone container-based vending machines to traditional brick-and-mortar and store-within-a-store points of sale; each leveraging AI-powered technology created in close cooperation with American tech firm AiFi.

Cameras installed in the store work with AI to recognise the products removed from the shelves (or the hot dogs prepared by Robbie) and charges the appropriate amount either to a payment card attached to Żappka Pay or the bank card directly.

So far, 44 Nano stores have opened across the country, making it the largest chain of autonomous convenience stores anywhere in Europe.

This content has been produced in collaboration with an Emerging Europe partner organisation.